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ST MARYS F.C

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About the Author
St Marys - A Short History
All St Marys players Games and Goals since 2004/05
Brother John Pye M.S.C. OAM
Interesting Facts
Letter - Just let me play for fun
Lyrics for the St Marys club song
NTFL - 2015/16 Finals Results - All Grades
AFLNT Records - All NTFL Positions in all grades - Summary
NTFL Final Standings - League
NTFL Final Standings - Reserves
NTFL Final Standings - Senior Colts, U/19's,U/18's,U/17's
NTFL Final Standings - Junior Colts,U/16's,U/15's
NTFL Final Standings - U/14's Div 1,U/14's Div 2,U/12's Div 1,U/12's Div 2,Womens,YG
NTFL Best and Fairest Medals - All Grades League - U/12's
St Marys NTFL Nichols Medallists
St Marys NTFL Best and Fairest
NTFL Best on Ground in Grand Finals all Grades
NTFL Leading Goal Kickers
St Marys NTFL Leading Goal kickers
St Marys Grand Final Medal Winners All Grades
St Marys NTFL Rising Star
St Marys Rep Players A - L
St Marys Rep Players M - Z
Anthony Vallejo
Aaron Perry
Benny Cubillo
Bill Roe BEM
Brian Long
Brian Stanislaus
Cadji Dunn
Present Great Player - Cameron Ilett
Clifford "Gympie" LewFatt
Cyril Rioli (Jnr)
Damien Berto
David Kantilla (Snr)
Dennis Dunn
Edmund Johnson
Present great Players - Ignatious Vallejo
Jack Long (Snr)
Jarred Ilett
Present Great Players - John Anstess
John Long
Present Great Player - Karl Lohde
Luke Stapleton
Michael Athanasiou
Noel Long
Present Great Players - Peter MacFarlane
Peter March
Present Great Player - Ryan Smith
Shane Ponter
Present Great Player - Shannon Rioli
St Marys Icon - Sheila Clarke
Super Coach - John Taylor
Ted Liddy
Terry Lew Fatt
The Godparents of the "Green Machine"
The Long Family
The man who started it all Ted Egan AO
Tommy Weetra
Xavier Clarke (Snr)
Premiership Players A - C
Premiership Players D - K
Premiership Players L - M
Premiership Players N - S
Premiership Players T - Z
Every St Mary's player who has played in a Grand Final
All St Marys Player Football Life members and their premierships
AFLNT - Hall of Fame
Records - Page 1
Records - Page 2
Records - Page 3
Records - Page 4
Records - Page 5
Records - Page 6
Records - Page 7
AFLNT Records - Minor Premiers and Wooden Spoons
AFLNT Records - Biggest Thrashings since 1946/47
AFLNT Records - Draw - 6 point wins in year order
St Marys and All NTFL Players who have played VFL/AFL
St Marys players to play with NT Thunder in the QAFL now NEAFL Awards
St Marys All Australian Juniors
St Marys - BOG in a Representative game
St Marys Coach, Captain and Best and Fairests of the Lower grades
St Marys Games summary Year by Year
St.Marys Honour Board
St Marys - Kamwari
St Marys Legends (100 games or more)
St Marys Life Members
St Marys longest Winning and loosing runs against all Clubs
St Marys Men at the Top
St Marys players who have kicked 7 or more goals in a match
St Marys Win - Loss record against all clubs
Summary of all St Marys coaches Win - Loss record
Summary of total number of premierships won by all clubs (All grades)
AFLNT St Marys Womens Football

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Brother John Pye M.S.C. OAM

 

The Northern Territory has but two seasons, a wet and a dry. Australian Rules is the code of football played here, played across 'the Wet', from October through to March, just as the AFL takes a breather between seasons.

Br Pye, far fitter and sprightlier than a 100-year-old man ought by rights to be, is the man who brought football to the Aborigines of the outlying parts of the Northern Territory.

Born up on the Murray River at Mullewa, Br Pye boarded at Wagga with the Marists and joined the Catholic religious Order called the MSC (Missionary of Sacred Heart).

Br Pye joined the Order because 'I wanted to help people in faraway places', as he puts it now. Now of course the places he once thought were 'faraway' are the centre of his world  Port Keats (Wadeye) and the beautiful Tiwi Islands.

The Tiwi Islands are a pair of islands (Bathurst and Melville) located 80 km north of Darwin, home to 1750 Aboriginal people living in three communities.

After serving the MSC for 10 years in Toowoomba, Br Pye was sent to the Tiwi Islands in 1941. The Mission had been working on the islands for only 30 years at that time, its presence there having been established by the redoubtable Father Francis Xavier Gsell MSC.

In 1941 the Tiwi people still played a traditional form of football, whose object was to run or kick the ball over a line. Br Pye had been a sportsman in his youth, having excelled in sprinting and having captained the school football team.

It was natural for him to introduce the Tiwi people to the brand of football he had played as a younger man, and on their part the Tiwi people took to it enthusiastically.

The Tiwi Football League was established in the 1969/70 wet season, starting with five teams Pumarali, Tapalinga, Imalu, Tuyu and Irrimaru.

The teams were not based on clans, permitting people to mix with others from outside their immediate group. Three new teams have joined the Tiwi League since Taracumbie, Warankuwu and Nguiu bringing the total competition to eight.

The Tiwi Grand Final has earned a place in the annual sporting calendar of the Northern Territory. Territorians and others travel long distances to be at this event. First Ted Whitten, and then his son Ted Whitten Jr, have taken great pride in presenting the trophy on that occasion.

Ted Whitten Jr now works in the marketing department of Melbourne's Victoria University, a university with a strong interest in Australian Rules football.

From the Tiwi Islands have come several AFL stars, the most famous of which have been the Rioli men. Richmond's Maurice Rioli was the first of this family to make it into the big time. Another star was David Kantilla, who progressed from a tin shed to a spot in the South Adelaide team, later tragically killed in a car smash. Tiwi also boasts the Long family, including the inspiring Michael at Essendon.

The Tiwi Islands became Br Pye's adopted home. He found love and friendship among the people here, and he is regarded as genuine family by many people both on Tiwi Islands and at Port Keats, to the South-West of Darwin.

In 1975 he took several Port Keats and Tiwi people on a pilgrimage to the Vatican by air. As they flew from Bombay to Rome, as luck would have it, the jet caught fire and they had to escape down the emergency slides. One Tiwi woman plucked a three-young-old white passenger to safety. Br Pye was the last to leave the plane and pulled a muscle when sliding down from the grounded aircraft. Undaunted, he and his companions kept on their journey. Asked what he thought of the episode, one Tiwi man, Jackie Bourke, remarked dryly, "That's the second suitcase I have lost!" (His first had gone missing at Sydney Airport.)

Now Br Pye has come to have a kidney operation in Darwin. Good-natured as ever, he tells the story of how the hospital almost yanked out the one kidney which was still functioning. Most of us would have trouble telling that story with a laugh, but Br Pye is not an ordinary person. He even jokes that his kidney problems may have derived from his long residence on the Islands, for Tiwi people have a well-documented history of renal troubles.

Br Pye wants the museum of artefacts he has collected on Tiwi to be properly maintained, for, through this strange pastime called Australian Rules, a means of communication between two very different people has been established.

Over the years the game has become more tolerant of indigenous players, but there is still more the AFL should do to combat racism, he thinks.

Football in the Territory is flourishing, thanks to people like Br Pye and local Darwin businessman Tony Shaw, himself a former South Adelaide player, latterly president of the Northern Territory Football League. The NTFL has now been invited to field a team in the South Australian state competition.

A football branded with the school emblem was recently presented to Br Pye on behalf of the Marist school in Melbourne, Marcellin College, in honour of his contribution to the cause of indigenous Australians. Marcellin principal, Mr Paul Herrick, praised the work of Br Pye and recalled the wonderful experience for his school of having Territorian Robbie Ahmat at Marcellin in 1995.

Br Pye, bedizened in the new Tiwi Guernsey he and his mates had just designed, accepted the ball gratefully. The sun was setting over the harbour at the Darwin Sailing Club. Off to the north were his beloved Tiwi Islands. All was at peace with this man's world. He sat back and had another sip of his beer.

 

In 2004 Brother John Pye was honoured with his induction into the Tiwi Island Hall of Fame.

 

Br Pye celebrated his 100th birthday in a nursing home in Nightcliff (NT) on the 28/12/2006

 

Sadly Brother Pye passed away on the 29th May 2009 at the age of 102 and he is buried on the Islands

 

Br Pye was admitted to the NT’s inaugural Hall of Fame on the 30/10/2010

 

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I'M A COG IN THE "GREEN MACHINE"

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